Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao, Jr.

Defense Panel Chair

Elenita dlR Garcia

Defense Panel Member

Victorino Raymundo T. Lualhati
Jeremiah Joven B. Joaquin


Is Wittgensteins notion of picturing as presented in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus limited to language? Or can the analysis of picturing be applied to non-linguistic systems of representation? Using Tractarian principles, this paper examines the representative function of musical notation in order to demonstrate that the picture theory can account not only for language but for other systems of representation as well. Musical notation is used as an instantiation of non-linguistic systems of representation; hence, if the analysis of language in the Tractatus can account for musical notation, existential generalization allows the inference that the Tractarian analysis holds true for non-linguistic systems of representation. The investigation of this thesis can be divided into three parts. The argument that language is a system of representation and not the unique phenomenon it is commonly viewed to be is the first undertaking. This foundational argument is followed by identification and explanation of the essential features of musical notation and how these contribute to the logical and representative functions of musical notation. Finally, correlations between musical and notational entities and the elements of Tractarian ontology and language, respectively, are established, demonstrating that the propositions of the Tractatus can be used to correctly analyze musical notation. This paper also addresses the corollary issue of whether the whole world can be represented by a single system of representation. The answer is in the negative, as the various aspects of reality have differing modes of existence, thus requiring distinct and unique systems of representation to account for each of them.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

106 leaves ; 28 cm.


Tractatus logico-philosophicus (Wittgenstein); Musical notation

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